Cyrexa, the adeptly adductive Argonian

Morrowind Planned Levelling Guide

Terms

First, let’s clear up some terms I’ll be using in this guide (note: they may differ from other guides such as USEPWiki)

Skill – things you actively use in the game, like security, destruction and marksman.

Base Stat – the basic attributes that skills depend on, such as agility and endurance.

 

General Strategy

I’ve found the best strategy is to level relatively quickly, whilst being sure to level up some of your misc skills as you go. This is so the game doesn’t get too hard while lots of your skills are underdeveloped - it is no help being an excellent sweet talker if a fire atronarch is burning your buttocks. Developing an understanding of how the leveling system works is invaluable at this planning stage. Many other guides have delt with this subject, so I won't go into this in too much detail myself - I refer readers to the USEP Morrowind page for that.

Planning Strategy

I have formulated the following five-step Evil Plan Of Doom, which I have found leads leveling success:

(1) Create your character, choosing whichever race and sign you want – it won’t have that much impact on the process. The real thing to watch is what you choose as your major and minor skills, as both contribute to when you level up. The best thing at this stage is to create a custom class rather than rely on the game presets. Try to choose things you know you can control, like alchemy or blade, instead of things you can’t actively shape, like block or athletics (you can choose these if you really want, but it’ll make things a lot messier). Also, try to mix up which skill depends on which base stat.

The following base stats are related to the following stats:
Speed – Short blade, athletics, hand-to-hand, unarmored.
Agility – Sneak, block, light armor, marksman.
Intelligence – Enchant, conjuration, alchemy, security.
Willpower - Alteration, destruction, mysticism, restoration.
Personality – Speechcraft, illusion, mercantile.
Strength – Armorer, blunt wepon, acrobatics, axe, long blade.
Endurance – Spear, heavy armor, medium armor.

For my example, I am playing as a male Argonian (of course) born under the sign of the Tower, with a custom class (to give me more complete control). Here is what I have to start with:

Base Stats
Agility -60
Endurance - 30
Intelligence -40
Luck - 40
Personality -30
Speed -50
Strength - 50
Willpower - 30
Major Skills
Security - 35
Illusion - 35
Sneak - 35
Restoration - 30
Alchemy - 35
Minor Skills
Armorer - 15
Light Armor - 20
Mercantile - 20
Athletics - 30
Destruction - 15
Misc Skills
Block - 5
Medium Armor - 10
Heavy Armor - 5
Blunt Weapon - 5
Long Blade - 5
Axe - 5
Spear - 10
Enchant - 5
Alteration - 5
Misc Skills (continued)
Conjuration - 5
Mysticism - 10
Unarmored - 10
Acrobatics - 10
Short Blade - 10
Marksman - 10
Speechcraft - 10
Hand-To-Hand - 10

(2) Write out a table with levels across one axis, and base stats down the other. We’re going to aim to increase three of these with a bonus modifier of five for each level, but leave it blank for now, like the following. Feel free to cut and paste the tables on this site to use as a template :)

  ...1... ...2... ...3... ...4... ...5... ...6... ...7... ...8... ...9... ...10...
Agility                    
Endurance                    
Intelligence                    
Luck                    
Personality                    
Speed                    
Strength                    
Willpower                    

(3) Write out another table with skills down one axis, and levels across another, with groupings into ‘major’, ‘minor’ and ‘misc’ skills. When you have written up the table, note which skill is related to which base stat (Intelligence, willpower, strength etc.). The actual grouping of skills will depend on what you chose during the character creation stage. Here is an example of just the 'major skills' section.

MAJOR SKILLS
  ...1... ...2... ...3... ...4... ...5... ...6... ...7... ...8... ...9...
...10...
(I) Security                    
(P) Illusion                    
(A) Sneak                    
(W) Restoration                    
(I) Alchemy                    

We will use this in tandem with the table from step 2.

(4) Going back to the first table you’ve drawn, fill out your base starter stats in the ‘level 1’ column, and choose three these your base stats to increase by five (i.e. Intelligence). One at a time so it doesn’t get confusing, write the value from the ‘level 1’ column plus the five you wish to increase it by in the ‘level 2’ column, i.e. 20 increasing to 25.

  ...1... ...2... ...3... ...4... ...5... ...6... ...7... ...8... ...9... ...10...
Agility 60                  
Endurance 30 35                
Intelligence 40                  
Luck 40                  
Personality 30                  
Speed 50                  
Strength 50                  
Willpower 30                  

Turn to your skills table, and find three skills that depend on that base stat, increasing each of their base values by one.

Repeat this until all three of the base stats you wished to work on each level are finished. Here’s where it gets a bit tricky – you only want to increase the number of points in the ‘major’ and ‘minor’ skills section by fifteen points, using the rest up in the ‘misc’ skills section. I find it makes it much easier to think of things in fives.

As you distribute points to skills, try to spread them as evenly as possible, and try not to leave one skill on 10 while another reaches 70. Also, keep in mind at this planning stage that a skill’s value can’t exceed the base stat value, so you can’t possibly get, say, a Destruction value of 60 when Intelligence is just 45.

It sounds daunting, but it quite easy once you get the swing of it. Eventually, you will end up with a comprehensive level-by-level plan that will lead to maximum success. Don’t be afraid to go back and tweak things you’re not happy with – it’ll take an age to actually play this out, so you don’t want any mistakes at this stage.

Here is a worked through example broken into 10 level blocks and with some commentary, to give you an idea of what I mean…

Levels 1 - 10

For this first block I’m concentrating mainly on evening up the base stats and major skills, so the misc skills will end up being quite disperate. Also, I’m looking quite a bit at endurance, as health goes up 10% of endurance each level, so the extra health boost early on will be helpful.
Click here to skip the tables and jump to the next bit of commentary.

  ...1... ...2... ...3... ...4... ...5... ...6... ...7... ...8... ...9... ...10...
Agility 60                 60
Endurance 30 35 40 45   50 55 60   60
Intelligence 40   45     50     55 60
Luck 40                  
Personality 30     35 40     45 50 50
Speed 50                 55
Strength 50 55 60             50
Willpower 30 35   40 45 50   55   60

MAJOR SKILLS
  ...1... ...2... ...3... ...4... ...5... ...6... ...7... ...8... ...9...
...10...
(I) Security 35         40       40
(P) Illusion 35     40       50   50
(A) Sneak 35                 35
(W) Restoration 30 35     40 45 50     50
(I) Alchemy 35         40   45   45
MINOR SKILLS
  ...1... ...2... ...3... ...4... ...5... ...6... ...7... ...8... ...9...
...10...
(St) Armorer 15   20             20
(A) Light Armor 20                 20
(P) Mercantile 20     30     40     40
(S) Athletics 30                 30
(W) Destruction 15 20     25         40
MISC SKILLS
  ...1... ...2... ...3... ...4... ...5... ...6... ...7... ...8... ...9...
...10...
(A) Block 5         20       20
(E) Medium Armor 10 15   20     25 30   30
(E) Heavy Armor 5 10 15 20     25 30   30
(St) Blunt Weapon 5 10 15             15
(St) Long Blade 5 10               10
(St) Axe 5   10             10
(E) Spear 10   15 20     25 30   30
(I) Enchant 5   10     15     25 25
(W) Alteration 5 10   15 20 25   30   30
(I) Conjuration 5   10             25
(W) Mysticism 10     20   25   30   30
(S) Unarmored 10     10 10   10 10   10
(St) Acrobatics 10     10 10   10 10   10
(S) Short Blade 10     10 10   10 10   10
(A) Marksman 10     10 10   10 10   10
(P) Speechcraft 10     10 25   25 30 35 35
(S) Hand-To-Hand 10 10 10 10 10   10 10   15

Levels 10-20

Now I’ve got the main stats more evened out, I can concentrate more on getting the minor and misc skills more evened up…
Click here to skip the tables and jump to the next bit of commentary.

  ...11... ...12... ...13... ...14... ...15... ...16... ...17... ...18... ...19... ...20...
Agility 60 65 70         75   80
Endurance 60       65 70     75 80
Intelligence 60   65   70       75 75
Luck                    
Personality 55 60       65 70     75
Speed 60     65   65 70 75   75
Strength 55 60 65   70     75   75
Willpower 60     65     70   75 75

MAJOR SKILLS
  ...11... ...12... ...13... ...14... ...15... ...16... ...17... ...18... ...19...
...20...
(I) Security 40       45       50 50
(P) Illusion 55 60         65     65
(A) Sneak 35   40         50   60
(W) Restoration 50               55 55
(I) Alchemy 45               50 50
MINOR SKILLS
  ...11... ...12... ...13... ...14... ...15... ...16... ...17... ...18... ...19...
...20...
(St) Armorer 25 30     40         25
(A) Light Armor 20   30         35   40
(P) Mercantile 45 50       60 65     65
(S) Athletics 30     35   40       40
(W) Destruction 40     50     55     55
MISC SKILLS
  ...11... ...12... ...13... ...14... ...15... ...16... ...17... ...18... ...19...
...20...
(A) Block 20 25               25
(E) Medium Armor 30       35 40   45   50
(E) Heavy Armor 30       35 40   45   50
(St) Blunt Weapon 15   25             25
(St) Long Blade 15   20         30   20
(St) Axe 15                 15
(E) Spear 30       35 40   45   50
(I) Enchant 25   35   40         40
(W) Alteration 30     35     40   45 45
(I) Conjuration 25   30         40   40
(W) Mysticism 30           35   45 45
(S) Unarmored 10     20   25 30 35   35
(St) Acrobatics 10 20     25     30   30
(S) Short Blade 20         25 30     30
(A) Marksman 10 20               20
(P) Speechcraft 40 45       50 55     55
(S) Hand-To-Hand 20           25 35   35

Levels 20-31

Aaaaand finally its just a matter of getting things up to 100 :)
Click here to skip the tables and jump to the next bit of commentary.

  ...21... ...22... ...23... ...24... ...25... ...26... ...27... ...28... ...29... ...30... ...31...
Agility 80 85   90     95   100   100
Endurance 80   85   90   95   100   100
Intelligence 80   85   90   95     100 100
Luck                     40
Personality 80   85   90     95   100 100
Speed 80         90   95   100 100
Strength 75 80   85   90   95     100
Willpower 75 80   85   90     95   100

MAJOR SKILLS
  ...21... ...22... ...23... ...24... ...25... ...26... ...27... ...28... ...29...
...30...
...31...
(I) Security 55   60   65         70 70
(P) Illusion 65   70   75     80   85 85
(A) Sneak 60           65   70   70
(W) Restoration 55 60             70   75
(I) Alchemy 55   60   65         70 70
MINOR SKILLS
  ...21... ...22... ...23... ...24... ...25... ...26... ...27... ...28... ...29... ...30...
...31...
(St) Armorer 25 35   45             60
(A) Light Armor 40           50   60   60
(P) Mercantile 70       75     80   85 85
(S) Athletics 40         55   60     60
(W) Destruction 55     60         65   75
MISC SKILLS
  ...21... ...22... ...23... ...24... ...25... ...26... ...27... ...28... ...29... ...30...
...31...
(A) Block 25 35   40             40
(E) Medium Armor 50   55   60   65   70   70
(E) Heavy Armor 50   55   60   65   70   70
(St) Blunt Weapon 25         30     35   35
(St) Long Blade 20 25       30     35   35
(St) Axe 15     20         25   25
(E) Spear 50   55   60   65   70   70
(I) Enchant 45   50       55       55
(W) Alteration 45 50   55   60         60
(I) Conjuration 40       45   55   60   60
(W) Mysticism 45 50   55   65         65
(S) Unarmored 35                   45
(St) Acrobatics 30         35         35
(S) Short Blade 40                 45 50
(A) Marksman 20 25   35             35
(P) Speechcraft 70   80   85     90   95 95
(S) Hand-To-Hand 40               50 60 60

Final Planning Results

So, following this method, I have a shiny Level 31 character planned out. His derived attributes will be:

Health - 134.5 (half of the sum of endurance and strength at the start, plus a 10% of endurance increase each level-up)
Magicka - 100 (same as intelligence)
Fatigue - 400 (sum of final willpower, strength, agility, and endurance)
Encumbrance - 500 (five times strength)

Base Stats
Agility -60
Endurance - 30
Intelligence -40
Luck - 40
Personality -30
Speed -50
Strength - 50
Willpower - 30
Major Skills
Security - 35
Illusion - 35
Sneak - 35
Restoration - 30
Alchemy - 35
Minor Skills
Armorer - 15
Light Armor - 20
Mercantile - 20
Athletics - 30
Destruction - 15
Misc Skills
Block - 5
Medium Armor - 10
Heavy Armor - 5
Blunt Weapon - 5
Long Blade - 5
Axe - 5
Spear - 10
Enchant - 5
Alteration - 5
Misc Skills (continued)
Conjuration - 5
Mysticism - 10
Unarmored - 10
Acrobatics - 10
Short Blade - 10
Marksman - 10
Speechcraft - 10
Hand-To-Hand - 10

So, now you’ve got your plan worked out, how to you put it into action? Three things you need to consider are: How closely you’re going to stick to the leveling plan, how to make the best use of trainers, and in-game methods of leveling quickly and painlessly.

Sticking to the leveling plan

Sometimes sticking to your plan can be a chore. Selling a quiver one arrow at a time can get tiresome, and it is all too easy to split from your pre-planned table and just run off for a romp, throwing all your stats out of kilter. This isn’t to say your leveling has to be perfect – your bound to accidentally buff up some stats here and there when you don’t mean too, but there is only so far you can go from your plan before everything is foiled. There are two strategies to avoid this:
1) Play two games at once – one where you’re leveling, and one where you’re just playing for fun. That way, when leveling becomes a chore, you can switch and have some well-deserved hack’n’fireball. Morrowind is such a big game you can have the two games in completely different stages so it won’t feel like you’re just repeating what you were doing. This has worked wonderfully for me over the years.
2) Use the console. Not really in the spirit of the game, but if you’re sick to death of leveling and just want some pwnage, you could use the console command player->set*insert skill name here* *insert number here*, i.e. player->setmarksman 50 will set your marksman skill to 50. I really don’t think this is a good idea, as it means you can’t be proud of the spiffy character you finally produce.

Making The Best Use Of Trainers

Once your personality is sufficiently developed (in the game, not in person – the game would treat the most magnetically wonderful individual the same way as a repulsive snotter :P), be sure to get trainer’s dispositions up to 100 before dealing with them for a cheaper deal. Also, if you want to sell an expensive item to a trainer who also barters, buying training from them will temporarily increase the amount of gold on their person and available for barter.

A trainer cannot train you if your level is higher than theirs, but it is easier to level up on your own when you are a lower level. I find for the first five levels or so I save my gold and don’t use trainers at all, so that way when leveling up becomes more tedious I have plenty of monies set aside for training. Also, note that the number of times you can train is limited per level. For this reason, I tend to pick the most difficult/annoying to level up skills (like block) to use trainers for, leaving the easier skills (like sneak) to myself.

Master trainers (level 100) are often difficult to find, expensive, and sometimes require you to complete a quest before they’ll train you. They’re a must if you want to use a trainer after level 75 or so, but until that point it is best to use their lower level counterparts.

Some trainers are hostile to you, and your conversation is so short you don’t get a chance to ask for training. A ‘calm humanoid’ spell can be very useful for charming them into talking to you for this. Also, remember that some trainers will ignore you if you don’t belong to their faction, or are not sufficiently advanced in that faction. The ‘calm humanoid’ spell won’t work here, and the only option is to join/advance in whatever guild or faction they belong to.

So, the next task is finding where the trainers are… Ooh look, I made a handy list!

Click to jump to: Acrobatics, alchemy, alteration, armorer, athletics, axe, block, blunt weapon, conjuration, destruction, enchant, hand-to-hand, heavy armor, illusion, light armor, long blade, marksman, medium armor, mercantile, mysticism, restoration, security, short blade, sneak, spear, speechcraft, unarmored.

LevelPersonLocation
Acrobatics
100 Senyndie Vivec, Arena Fighters Quarters
79 Aerin Maar Gan, Andus Tradehouse
77 Sugar-Lips Habasi Balmora, South Wall Cornerclub
71 Ernse Llervu Vivec, The Abbey of St. Delyn the Wise
Todwendy Balmora, Lucky Lockup
70 Avus Belvilo Dren Plantation, Storage Shack

 

Alchemy
100 Abelle Chriditte Valenvaryon, Propylon Chamber

 

Alteration
100 Seryne Relas Tel Branora, Seryne Relas's House
76 Ardarume Sadrith Mora, Gateway Inn: West Wing
72 Qorwynn Indoranyon
71 Yakin Bael Vos, Vos Chapel

 

Armorer
100 Sirollus Saccus Ebonheart, Hawkmoth Legion Garrison
70 Avus Belvilo Dren Plantation , Storage Shack

 

Athletics
100 Adibael Hainnabibi Kaushtababi Camp, Adibael's Yurt
75 Delyna Mandas Tel Fyr, Onyx Hall
Huleeya Vivec Foreign, Black Shalk Cornerclub
72 Missun Akin Falasmaryon, Missun Akin's Hut

 

Axe
100 Alfhedil Elf-Hewer Falensarano, Upper Level
72 Eydis Fire-Eye Balmora, Guild of Fighters

 

Block
100 Shardie Buckmoth Legion Fort (-2,5)
82 Khargol gro-Boguk Dagon Fel, Vacant Tower
71 Ulms Drathen Molag Mar, Armigers Stronghold

 

Blunt Weapon
100 Ernse Llervu Vivec, The Abbey of St. Delyn the Wise
78 Alfhedil Elf-Hewer Falensarano, Upper Level
72 Eydis Fire-Eye Balmora, Guild of Fighters

 

Conjuration
100 Methal Seran Ald'ruhn, Temple
81 Abelle Chriditte Valenvaryon, Propylon Chamber
70 Avus Belvilo Dren Plantation, Storage Shack

 

Destruction
100 Leles Birian Ascadian Isles Region (4,-8)
81 Ardarume Sadrith Mora, Gateway Inn: West Wing
Erer Darothril Sadrith Mora, Dirty Muriel's Cornerclub
Seryne Relas Tel Branora, Seryne Relas's House
78 Qorwynn Indoranyon

 

Enchant
100 Qorwynn Indoranyon

 

Hand-To-Hand
100 Taren Omothan Holamayan Monastery
70 Caius Cosades Balmora, Caius Cosades' House

 

Heavy Armor
100 Seanwen Vivec, Arena Fighters Training
76 Shardie Buckmoth Legion Fort (-2,5)
71 Ulms Drathen Molag Mar, Armigers Stronghold

 

Illusion
100 Erer Darothril Sadrith Mora, Dirty Muriel's Cornerclub

 

Light Armor
100 Aerin Maar Gan, Andus Tradehouse
70 Ruccia Conician Ebonheart, Grand Council Chambers

 

Long Blade
100 Ulms Drathen Molag Mar, Armigers Stronghold
86 Shardie Buckmoth Legion Fort(-2,5)
74 Larrius Varro Moonmoth Legion Fort, Interior
72 Adibael Hainnabibi Kaushtababi Camp, Adibael's Yurt
Mertis Falandas Ghostgate, Tower of Dusk Lower Level
Missun Akin Falasmaryon, Missun Akin's Hut

 

Marksman
100 Missun Akin Falasmaryon, Missun Akin's Hut
75 Aradraen Vivec, Foreign Quarter, Aradraen: Fletcher

 

Medium Armor
82 Khargol gro-Boguk Dagon Fel, Vacant Tower
78 Alfhedil Elf-Hewer Falensarano, Upper Level

 

Mercantile
100 Ababael Timsar-Dadisun Zainab Camp, Ababael Timsar-Dadisun's Yurt

 

Mysticism
100 Ardarume Sadrith Mora, Gateway Inn: West Wing
81 Abelle Chriditte Valenvaryon, Propylon Chamber
Leles Birian Ascadian Isles Region (4,-8)
76 Erer Darothril Sadrith Mora, Dirty Muriel's Cornerclub
Seryne Relas Tel Branora, Seryne Relas's House
Yakin Bael Vos, Vos Chapel
71 Methal Seran Ald'ruhn, Temple

 

Restoration
100 Yakin Bael Vos, Vos Chapel
81 Leles Birian Ascadian Isles Region (4,-8)

 

Security
100 Hecerinde Balmora, Hecerinde's House

 

Short blade
100 Todwendy Balmora, Lucky Lockup
74 Nileno Dorvayn Balmora, Hlaalu Council Manor
72 Mathyn Bemis Vivec, Hlaalu Ancestral Vaults
70 Athesie Andas Andasreth, Upper Level
Athyn Sarethi Ald'ruhn, Sarethi Manor
Avon Ravel Hlormaren, Keep, Bottom Level
Faral Retheran Vivec, Redoran Treasury
Navil Ienith Dren Plantation, Dren's Villa

 

Sneak
100 Ri'Shajirr Caldera, Shenk's Shovel
Wadarkhu Gnaar Mok, Druegh-jigger's Rest
84 Aerin Maar Gan, Andus Tradehouse
71 Ernse Llervu Vivec, The Abbey of St. Delyn the Wise
Todwendy Balmora, Lucky Lockup

 

Spear
100 Mertis Falandas Ghostgate, Tower of Dusk Lower Level

 

Speechcraft
100 Skink-in-Tree's-Shade Wolverine Hall: Mages Guild
75 Ruccia Conician Ebonheart, Grand Council Chambers
70 Caius Cosades Balmora, Caius Cosades' House

 

Unarmored
100 Khargol gro-Boguk Dagon Fel, Vacant Tower
70 Caius Cosades Balmora, Caius Cosades' House

 

In-game methods of leveling quickly and painlessly

Try leveling up things that compliment each other – some combinations I’ve found that work well are:
- Light armor and armorer: as your light armor receives a battering, you can use armorer to fix it as you go
- Uarmored and restoration: as your health gets dangerously low, use a healing spell
- Achemy and mercantile: make the potions and sell them for a neat profit.
- Athletics and Blade: run through a cliff-racer filled zone (like the path between Seyda Neen and Balmora), hack away, and run away if you’re mobbed by too many
Be sure not to overreach yourself at your current level: if under level 10, use rats and mudcrabs to hone your armor and weapon skills, moving to larger creatures only when you’re sure you’re strong enough. Mudcrabs are particularly good, as they are easily outrun. It’s best not to actually kill the creatures you’re using for leveling, as then you have to either wait for them to respawn or find others. Its much more convenient to run away, wait a few hours so their health regenerates, and then run back.

Aside from these general tips, I refer readers to this excellent guide on some specific skill level-up methods.

Final Message

Morrowind is a big and complex game, and getting your character to a shiny level 30 or above will take time. It won’t be an overnight quick-fix- don’t expect planned leveling to be a long-term project and don’t give up! It is more than worth it in the end :)